Kayak explorers Richard Smith and Craig Mathieson will return to Greenland this August for phase 2 of the Northern Lights Expedition
Kokatat continues to support Northern Lights Expeditions, a project seeking to establish links between children of isolated indigenous communities of the Arctic and children of the U.K., as they are preparing for phase two of its three-part service project. Kokatat has provided the team with the necessary products for this expedition, such as the GORE-TEX® Expedition Dry Suit and Ronin Pro PFD.
Northern Lights explorers Richard Smith and Craig Mathieson founded the project to help develop the children's confidence and self-reliance through what Smith and Mathieson have coined “inspiration of exploration.” The participating schools are developing online projects exchanging ideas and media through projects covering areas of global warming, song, dance, and social cultural comparisons.
During July and August 2009 Smith and Mathieson kayaked between remote Inuit settlements of Eastern Greenland forging links with Scottish schools and delivering donated laptops to assist with connecting children from different cultures. Since returning to Scotland, the team has toured the Scottish schools, training the children and teachers how to develop and participate in online projects to exchange ideas about global warming and socio-cultural comparisons. A BBC Radio 4 documentary about Northern Lights is currently in production and set to broadcast in the coming year.
In August 2010, the team will travel back to Greenland with the teachers to make introductions to the Greenlandic schools and to ensure that all required health and safety assessments are in place prior to the exchange visit of the pupils. During the winter, pupils from schools in Scotland and the French Alps will participate in a mini-expedition by dog sled across the sea ice of the South Eastern coast of Greenland.
Northern Lights intends to expand the program to involve other indigenous communities from Arctic countries in the future, making first contact again by kayak.